I started this site because so many of the frugal food sites I love are just jam-packed with recipes that are decidedly un-kosher. And lots of other frugal living sites are extremely religious, and not in a Jewish way. And that just wasn’t working for me. I hope that I can share some ways to be frugal AND kosher. And share some of my thoughts about our life since making Aliyah. Oh, and if you share my recipes, menus, musings, etc, please link back to this blog. Thank you.
Shop the Better World Books Cyber Monday Sale and save big on used book, all with Free Shipping Worldwide!
Monday, November 26 through Wednesday, November 28, they have a Cyber Monday promotion.
The discount is 30% off any order of 4 or more used books for
shoppers in the United States, and 20% off any order of 7 or more used
books for international shoppers. Both sales require the use of one of
the following codes:
US Coupon Code
CYBERMONDAY (11/26 to 11/28)
International Coupon Codes
CYBERMONDAY12 (11/26 to 11/28)
Enjoy your new-used books!
Of course, there is always free international shipping.
Some 2 liter containers of Strauss Chocolate with Cookies/ Vanilla with Chocolate Chips were mislabeled PAREVE on the top of the container, and are actually DAIRY. The containers ARE labeled dairy on the bottom.
Shop the Better World Books Black Friday Sale or Cyber Monday Sale and save big on used book, all with Free Shipping Worldwide!
Starting Tuesday, November 20 through Sunday, November, 25 Better World Books will be running a Black Friday Sale! And Monday, November 26 through Wednesday, November 28, they have a Cyber Monday promotion.
The discount is 30% off any order of 4 or more used books for shoppers in the United States, and 20% off any order of 7 or more used books for international shoppers. Both sales require the use of one of the following codes:
US Coupon Codes:
BLACKFRIDAY (11/20 to 11/25)
CYBERMONDAY (11/26 to 11/28)
International Coupon Codes:
BLACKFRIDAY12 (11/20 to 11/25)
CYBERMONDAY12 (11/26 to 11/28)
Enjoy your new-used books!
Of course, there is always free international shipping.
Today's Vegetable Stew was inspired by random foods I have in the house.
I love that stews are so versatile, and with a bit of creativity, you can nearly always throw a stew together!
Vegetable Stew with Eggplant and Red Lentils 1 onion, diced 1 red pepper, diced 1 medium eggplant, diced 2 small potatoes, diced 2 cloves garlic, crushed 1 cup brown rice 500g - 1kg red lentils Water or soup stock to cover seasonings to taste
In a large pot, heat some olive oil, then add the vegetables and cook, stirring often. Add rice, and continue to cook a few more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add lentils and liquid. Bring to a rapid boil, then simmer for about 40 minutes. Season as you like. Serve with homemade croutons (below).
Croutons Leftover Challah or bread (mine is whole wheat), cut into squares. olive oil seasonings (I used garlic, black pepper, and parsley. you could use basil, or oregano, or lots of herbs)
Toss the challah pieces with a little oil and seasonings. Spread out on a baking pan, and bake them at 425 F for a few minutes (watch them carefully so they don't burn!)
Eden Teva Market Online has a new organic vegetable promotion going on. This one is not quite as awesome as their 5 shekel sale - it's 5.90/kg, so still pretty good! I believe the selection on sale varies slightly by region.
Sale ends November 30, 2012
When I checked what's included in the 5.90 sale, it showed me the following:
Hot peppers (by the package, not per kilo)
They deliver to many areas - delivery area seems to be expanding all the time. And if you don't see your town on the list, try calling or creating an account, they deliver to my town even though it is not on the list... maybe yours too!
Min. order for delivery is 150 shekel, and there is a delivery fee of 29 shekels, I believe.
It's been 10 yrs since I gave birth to my preemie. And I'm nearing my 40th birthday. Somehow that all seems significant right now, and even brings me a sense of peace - that, yes, I got through it. I am no longer a new mother of a preemie. I still think of it every day, don't get me wrong. I see my big 10 yr old and I remember the tiny baby, in the isolette, with a CPAP machine and what seemed like way too many tubes and monitors - perhaps every day I still see that! But - we made it. Hashem blessed us with health. With no serious preemie complications. With 2 healthy children who came after who made it to "term" (ok, 37 and 38 weeks, that's not premature at least!). And altogether, my husband and I find joy and wonder in all 4 of our amazing children, every day.
SO, I don't want to feel shell shocked anymore. Sometimes I can still feel the panicky feeling I used to get, and I'm really ready to say goodbye to it. Don't know if I will, but I'm going to spend some time trying.
For this year's World Prematurity Day (November 17th), I decided to publish a round-up of Jewish and Israeli Preemie Stories.
Of course if you are looking for items like groceries or books, or other not cashback eligible items, please use my amazon search box and help me out (I'm an amazon affiliate and I'll get a small commission if you use my links)
lists are meant to help shoppers make choices about
which produce items are safer to buy and which are not (among
conventionally grown produce), similar to the
list for the USA that is put out by the EWG.
I have been bombarded with questions since I posted the list, so I
decided to do some research and try explain more.
I cannot, however, take any responsibility for what you do. I am
merely sharing my personal thoughts regarding the produce lists, and
my opinions are not meant to be understood as scientifically
accurate, nor is this meant as medical advice. (Or advice at all.
Just my thoughts.)
Regarding pesticide levels - Once upon a time, I tried to feed my family a
mostly organic diet, as I am wary of chemical exposure, especially
for young children. I was able to do this with careful planning, in
the U.S.A. I have not been able to do the same here in Israel, as the
cost of organic produce is so much higher compared to conventional
produce here, and salaries are not equivalent.
I believe that G-d created our bodies with the ability to get rid
of many toxins, (and we develop this ability as we grow) and the
presence of a toxin in someone's urine is evidence that our bodies
are able to remove it, at least partially, so when there are reports
of such-and-such a compound being found at detectable levels in
urine, yes, that means we are ingesting it. But it means we are also
removing it from our bodies. I DO believe, however, that for very
young children, reducing their chemical load is important. If I had a
baby or a toddler I would probably be buying specific foods
organically just for the baby, even while feeding the rest of the
family the conventionally grown equivalent.
I also believe that eating fruits and vegetables of any kind is
important. Eating a junk food diet in order to "avoid"
pesticide exposure will not solve any problems. Eating conventional
fruits and vegetables is STILL healthier, despite pesticides, than
not eating fruits and vegetables.
That being said, I still would love to take some precautions to
reduce our exposure.
I know it's not perfect, but I scrub all of our produce before
cooking or eating it. I use a commercial
fruit and vegetable cleaner, because that is my preference.
Pesticides are made to stay on a fruit/vegetable (they adhere to it
in order to work even after rain or crop irrigation), and are usually
not water soluble, so in order to remove them, some scrubbing, and a
cleaner (soap of some sort) are most effective. But I only wash
produce in cold water.
Some people recommend peeling fruits and vegetables. I am torn on
this one, as we know that often vitamins and minerals are stored in
the peel of a fruit or vegetable. I usually opt not to peel, knowing
that I've scrubbed the peel, and that there are plenty of benefits to
consuming the peel...
On the other hand, I want to send a message to the growers and
chemical companies that we don't want toxic overload in our food.
I plan to scrutinize the list carefully and pick a few items I can
reasonably cut back on and find suitable replacements for.
Here are my first thoughts about the some of the produce specified
on the list:
At the moment, even when grapes are in season, we rarely buy them,
as they tend to be pricey. Same goes for celery, I rarely buy it,
except the ones that are certified lower in pesticides (the
non-organic, certified lower in pesticide ones are sold at Shufersal
Apples, sadly, are a staple in my house. In the U.S. I only bought
organic ones; here the price for organic apples is usually 8X higher
than conventional. In the U.S., the difference was not as
pronounced... But I am going to try to find a cleaner alternative to
our daily apples. Or perhaps make more baked apples, as I have read
that a large # of pesticides break
down when cooked...
As far as the rest of the items on the list, I am considering
cutting back our potato and pepper consumption as well. We won't be
cutting them out completely, but I do think it's important to consume
less of them, even if for no other reason than to send the growers a
message. Potatoes are easy, we can substitute other carbs like
rice... peppers, well, those are harder to replace. But we may try
growing our own! If we can't, we'll still buy them, but in
moderation... (And, come to think of it, we only eat cooked potatoes,
so hopefully some of those pesticides are gone by the time we eat
And those are my first thoughts on the matter. How you choose to
feed your family is, of course, a very personal decision. (But I'd
love to hear your thoughts , too!)
Here are some other sources for fruit and vegetable cleaners:
It suddenly got cold out, or rather, just chilly. In our part of the country cold and chilly are the same. No, we aren't going to have a snowstorm in the Emeq, as far as I can tell, but we ARE having a whole lot of rain, wind, thunder, and lightning. It's about time we changed over our wardrobes (even my 14 yr old reluctantly put on long pants this a.m.! He thinks shorts are appropriate attire well into December, so that's saying a lot.), and pulled out the down comforters!
And here, in our house, where I only run the heat when absolutely necessary, that means eating lots of soup and drinking lots of tea.
Here is one of my favorite soup recipes:
Be warned, however, this is NOT a quick soup. This soup needs 3-5 hrs to cook fully.
UPDATE: I discovered that if you SOAK your split peas in a large bowl with water, for a couple of hours before cooking them (and drain and rinse before adding to the soup pot), you can make a split pea soup in half the time!! My latest batch was ready after simmering for about 1.5 hrs -- which I consider a major improvement!
If you are looking for a quick soup, check out this one or this one.
Split Pea Soup
Split pea soup simmering on my stove.
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
3-6 carrots, cut however you like (I slice in thin circles)
Any other soup worthy vegetables - I sometimes use potatoes, celery, kishuim, and more
1 kg split peas, picked over and rinsed
water or soup stock to fill the pot
salt, pepper, dill, parsley
1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
Heat olive oil in your (large) soup pot
Add onion, garlic, and vegetables. Cook, stirring frequently, till onion is limp, maybe even a bit browned.
Add water or soup stock, and split peas.
Bring to a boil
Simmer until it's fully cooked...stir occasionally, and add water as needed...
(You'll know it's done when the split peas have all gone soft and it's the perfect texture. If your split peas are still too hard, you're not done cooking it. Just keep going!)
Conventionally grown produce usually has pesticide residue. For the first time, an Israeli organization has ranked local produce. (Thanks to the Israeli Union for Environmental Defense for making this information available to the public!) Below you'll see the list, and my translation! Take them to the store with you so you can be a more informed shopper. You can significantly reduce your exposure to pesticides (and this article explains that so many pesticides (36!) used in Israel are banned in other parts of the world) by focusing on the foods on the "clean" list, and avoiding those on the dirty list. I know this will make a big difference for us! Here are the "Dirtiest" Fifteen: Grapes Celery Apples Citrus fruit Beets
Coriander Dill Lettuce Mint Baby Lettuce Leaf Mixes Pears Kohlrabi Peaches Potatoes Peppers The Ten Cleanest: Passionfruit Avocado Sprouts Sweet Potato Onion Dates Asparagus Peas Cauliflower Artichoke
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We're having some sleep-over guests this Shabbat (would you believe all three of my husband's cousins (yes, he has a small family, what can I say?) have daughters who are spending a year in Israel this year, and they are all coming here for Shabbat. I'm really looking forward to it. We haven't had much of an opportunity to build a relationship with them, having never really lived near them, so this will give us a chance to get to know them and feel more connected!
Anyhow, so it's time to plan my Shabbat menu. I just took inventory, and now I know what I have to work with... We have plenty of carrots and potatoes and apples. We got avocados in the 5 shekel range and got chicken on sale too
So here's what I think I'm making:
Chinese-style vegetable soup
Breaded Chicken (baked)
Salad (probably just tomatoes, cucumbers, avocados, and peppers)
Roasted Red Potatoes (can be turned into potato salad for lunch, if I feel like it)
Roasted Carrots (last time I made these, there were none left. I didn't even get one!)
I spent about 100, maybe 110 shekel, on some sparkly Keds brand sneakers for my daughter a little over a month ago. There was really nothing cheaper in her size in the one shoe store in my town, and she loves sparkly, so I sprung for it. Well, they COMPLETELY FELL APART! (I should have taken a picture of them before I dumped them in the garbage, but I didn't - sorry.)
I figured that in the past, I've managed to find decent shoes on clearance racks for less, and since we were planning to be in Teverya on Friday, I promised my daughter that the first thing we'd do there would be some shoe shopping.
I decided to start at "Poza". It's a discount store on Rabbi Yehuda HaLevi St. They didn't have a lot of shoes in her size - I think either her size is super popular, so nearly everything is always sold out, or super unpopular, so they just hardly stock shoes in that size (31 EU).
Well, we lucked out in the end, and we found TWO pairs of shoes - a pair of white and silver sparkly sneakers she was so happy with (she would have preferred pink, but they only had pink in 29, 30, 32, 33, and 34), and a pair of pink mary-jane style shoes she will wear for Shabbat - they have a cute bow and she thinks they are so fancy and grown up. I didn't have the heart to tell her they look like little girl shoes. She thinks they are grown up...
And the best part? We got TWO pairs for 110 shekels this time!
And the next best part? I was able to get nearly everything on my shopping list in one place - I had been asked to look for skirts for my nieces overseas. We found some. My older son needed a sweatshirt - I couldn't find one he was happy with at the second hand shop, and he is chilly some mornings, as our house really holds in the chill. He just needed a sweatshirt! Of course, they had a range of sweatshirts - from the 30 shekel kind that look like they will fall apart in the first wash, all the way up to the 250 shekel kind made by some brand name that look like they will keep you warm even in an unheated building in the winter... I opted for a mid-weight, but still decent looking 50 shekel one... I had seen a similar one in my local shopping center, priced at 90. I justified the 50 shekels as "not so terrible" and I'm hoping it will last! Wish us luck!
Of course, they also sell things like scarves and hats and socks and slippers and bags and pajamas ... and clothing for everyone. We left the store before I was tempted to spend any more money, though...